When the Apple Watch was first released I got up early and ordered one for launch day. I got my Apple Watch and I loved it. Usually with devices I already know why I want them and how they will fit into my computing life. It’s never a case of trying to figure out how it fits in. Anyway things beyond my control conspired against my cashflow and I had to return the Apple Watch. Well just this past holiday I unwrapped a gift from my beautiful wife and my eyes glazed over. It was an Apple Watch y’all!
It’s been a little over a week but with the holiday cheer and celebrating with family there wasn’t much time to really enjoy the watch. Now that I’ve had some time under my belt, or under my watch strap really. This is what I think of the Apple Watch so far, my hopes for it in the future and how I use it right now. Personally I think the Apple Watch is definitely a 1.0 product. I compare it to the first iPhone that was released in 2007. I owned that phone and for all the magic that owning it brought. Realistically it wasn’t until the App Store and the apps that gave it purpose that it really was a game changer. Now you look at the iPhone and it has just become such an integral part of so many people’s lives. I think with the right support, the right developers and the right use of the Apple Watch hardware 7 years from now that could be the same story. It’s easy to expect more of the Apple Watch because of the polish and design of it. I constantly read and hear people say “All I do is use it to tell the time”, “It’s too slow right now” or “the apps are just not there for me”. The way I look at it if you are using it to tell the time then that’s perfect. It is a watch just like the iPhone is a phone. If the hardware is able to get out of the way and when you need to know the time you use it then that’s great. It might seem like a small trivial thing but how did you tell the time before the Apple Watch? A lot of people didn’t have a standard watch so they would pull their phone out of their pocket. It takes more time and is less convenient than using the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch costs a lot and if you only use it to tell the time that might seem like a waste. The thing is the watch will get better as the WatchOS versions increase. At some point the old Apple Watch will not support all of the features of the newest WatchOS but I don’t see that happening for quite awhile from now. What do I think about the Apple Watch? I think it’s an awesome piece of hardware well worth the money. I think its role is all about convenience. There are a lot of great features right now and obvious ones missing that will come quite soon. I also think there are so many other posibilites as well. It needs support though and not only from Apple. Developers must be able to see the future potential and develop for the platform. I haven’t had any problems with the battery life but then again in all the years I’ve owned an iPhone I never had a problem with its’ battery life either. Personally I have used my Apple Watch to do a lot more than tell the time. Not as much as I would like but that is because I’m looking at the future potential and wishing that was now.
I have an hour long commute each way to and from work every week day. Usually during that hour I’m listening to music or podcasts on my iPhone while I write or read comics. This is the first place the Apple Watch comes in handy for me. At times when I’m on my laptop writing or on my iPad Mini reading comics. Messages from my wife or an email comes in and I need to stop whatever I’m doing, dig into my pocket for my iPhone and then decide if I need to reply or not. In the winter when I’m bundled up the inconvenience of that is twofold. Now when I get a notification I lift my wrist, read it and decide right then effortlessly if I need to reply or not. I also control whatever is playing on my iPhone from the Apple Watch. They are small things but they add up to more convience and an easier more pleasurable time on my commute. I love the notifications and the ability to answer the phone on my watch. I honestly felt very Dick Tracy the first time I answered a call on my watch. Beyond the novelty though again it is more convenient. I can leave my phone in any part of my house and I’m still reachable. Where I work I’m constantly on the move and working at different user’s desks. Before, when my phone would buzz I had no idea whether it was spam email, an important work email, a message from my wife that needing an urgent response or just a lol moment that I can reply to later. I would either need to ignore my phone or stop for a few moments to check my phone. When it’s just spam email or a message that doesn’t need an immediate reply you feel like that was just wasted time. Now I don’t have that problem anymore and that is a great thing for me. I can quickly and easily raise my arm for a couple seconds and determine who the email is from or if a message needs a response. These little timesavers add up and to me they are invaluable. There is also a fun aspect to the Apple Watch for me. I like to customize my devices. I don’t think I have ever owned a device with wallpaper that I kept stock. I’ve created a couple of custom backgrounds for my Apple Watch. A bunch of Star Wars based backgrounds that were really awesome when I went to the new Star Wars movie. It’s something personal that just adds that fun touch. I am completely happy with my Apple Watch. I look forward to all the possibilites to come.
What do I feel needs to be fixed immediately? The custom watch faces (Photo Album and Photos) need to have added and changeable complications. Currently if you use a custom photo background the watch face only shows the time and date. You can’t even change the color or location of it. The other complications that are available on other faces add a lot of glanceable information. You can add the weather, watch battery level, date, moon phases and much more. I would like to see all of those come to the photo album and photo faces. I’d also like to see more complications added whether through Apple or by third party developers. There is more I would like to put on the face of watch for quick glanceable information. Beyond that for me is the potential that I see for the future. I really hope developers support the Apple Watch and start to create new apps or add to existing ones to take advantage of the possibilities. When I think of the future I picture getting a notification on my watch that my train is delayed by xx minutes. When it arrives I get a notification that it has arrived and is at platform xx. I want to create a reminder to make a restaurant reservation. Then have the phone on that day search the restaurant’s availability and prompt me to make a reservation or tell me there are none available and it’s a xx wait time. Like I said it’s all about convenience for me but these things matter. They make life easier, more convenient and thereby more pleasurable. I know there are things I can’t even think of and that is the exciting part.